Storefront for Art and Architecture

What Black Is This, You Say? is a public artwork created by Amanda Williams for the Storefront Art & Architecture facade. This project was in response to #blackouttuesday, a social media campaign to show solidarity for Black lives and calls for justice in response to George Floyd’s murder and the many lives lost before him. Williams explores color theory, specifically as it relates to the plurality, complexity, and multiplicity of Black experiences. The facade showcases a wide range of Black(ness) through color and its corresponding caption; a juxtaposition to the monolithic representation on social media. Polymode designed the typographic treatments that accompany the painted shades of Black to act in conjunction with one another; honoring the color and the intimate experience of walking up to the work. The typographic forms showcase a range of realness both in italic and bold versions of Polymode Sans, a custom typeface designed in collaboration with XYZ Type Foundry that express various tones while remaining neutral. 

Photography by Michael Oliver

Lead Partner – Brian Johnson
Supporting Partner – Silas Munro
Designer – Randa Hadi